Jaguars pop up in Tier 2 of potential contenders for the 2023 NFL season

The Jacksonville Jaguars are listed as a team that could potentially make a deep playoff run in the 2023 NFL season.

Jacksonville Jaguars fans celebrate Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16).
Jacksonville Jaguars fans celebrate Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16). / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

The Jacksonville Jaguars enjoyed a huge turnaround last year. Besides making the playoffs for the first time and winning a game since 2017, they also seized the AFC South title. With a Super Bowl-winning coach in Doug Pederson and a roster stacked with talent, the Jags have a chance to return to the postseason and win the division again in 2023, which is why Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports wouldn't be shocked if they made a deep run.

Sullivan put together a power ranking and sorted it out by Tiers. The Kansas City Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills, and the Cincinnati Bengals made the top group while Jacksonville, along with the Baltimore Ravens, the Miami Dolphins, and the New York Jets, popped up in the second strata, aptly dubbed "wouldn't be surprised if they made a run".

Regarding the Jaguars, Sullivan says he expected Trevor Lawrence to keep improving and build on last year's success. He also thinks the addition of wide receiver Calvin Ridley will tip the scale in Jacksonville's favor next season.

"The Jacksonville Jaguars round out this tier because I'm expecting a nice leap from Trevor Lawrence in Year 3. This will be his second season under Doug Pederson and they'll be looking to build off of a 2022 season where they will be able to reach the divisional round. They'll be injecting wideout Calvin Ridley into this offense, which does have the potential of elevating the unit to a more explosive level and the team did invest along the right side of the offensive line by signing guard Brandon Scherff in free agency and drafting tackle Anton Harrison in the first round. "

On the other hand, Sullivan opines that outside linebacker Travon Walker must make a leap in Year 2 if the Jaguars want to consistently apply pressure up front.

After a 2-6 start in 2022, the Jaguars went 7-1 the rest of the way. During that stretch, they showed resiliance and the ability to rally from behind to win games. In the regular season, they came back from behind to beat the Las Vegas Raiders, the Dallas Cowboys and the Tennessee. But they were saving the best for the playoffs.

Down 27-0, Jacksonville overcome many early mistakes and went on to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30 in Super Wild Card Weekend. And after the success they had last year, it seems like they have a realistic chance to keep playing deep in January.

The Jaguars need to prove they aren't a one-year wonder, that they belong

All things considered, the Jags' spot in Sullivan's ranking is fair. until they beat the Chiefs, they'll probably remain in the 'almost' category. They had two opportunities in 2022 and they failed twice. You could argue that they already defeated the Bills in 2021 but that was a completely different team and both squads have changed since then.

The good news is that the Jaguars should be even better than they were last year. Despite the fact that they didn't make a splash signing in free agency, having Calvin Ridley will be huge for Trevor Lawrence and the offense as a whole. Also, playing in the same system and having continuity should help both sides of the ball.

As Sullivan noted, Walker and fellow outside linebacker Josh Allen must be much better next season but the Jags have enough talent on defense to slow down the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, and Josh Allen.

Also, this Jacksonville team is surely motivated to make a deep run in 2023. Having a taste of what winning feels like, they're surely focused on picking up where they left off last year.

Are the 2023 Jacksonville Jaguars perfect? No but they should feel comfortable about their chances due to the talent they have and Doug Pederson's track record of winning in the NFL. Don't be surprised if they move up to Tier 1 by the end of the season.

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